Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zucchini Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Glaze

I first saw this recipe on David Lebovitz' blog . Then, I Googled the source...Gina DePalma, the pastry chef at Babbo Ristorante.  This is her recipe for Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Crunch Glaze.

Right now, I have zucchini trying to overtake my lawn, so what better way to beat it into submission than by turning it into a cake! Not just any zucchini cake, but a cake that gets better and better each day! I'm saying 4-5 days and it's still wonderful!

A cake glazed with delicious, lemony crystals. A cake that is the zucchini recipe of which dreams are made.

Did I tell you that I decided to add 6 ounces of dark chocolate to the recipe?

Oh, Yeah!
Zucchini and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Glaze
Adapted from Gina DePalma's Recipe
Printable Recipe

Make one 10-inch cake, about 12 servings.

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup walnut pieces, toasted and finely chopped
2½ cups grated zucchini, excess moisture squeezed out
6 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar*
3 large eggs
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from one large lemon)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray or melted butter (a silicone pastry brush works well), and dust it thoroughly with flour, tapping out the excess. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them until they are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Allow them to cool completely and then finely chop them in a food processor or mini chopper and set aside. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and reserve.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the eggs, sugar and olive oil until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add the vanilla and beat. Scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each addition, beat in the dry ingredients all at once on low speed until they are thoroughly combined, then switch the mixer to medium speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, walnuts and chocolate and mix on low speed until they are completely incorporated

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, leveling it with a spatula. Bake for 45-55 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. The cake is done when it a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and it has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan. Oven temperatures vary so be sure to test before removing.

While the cake is baking, prepare the Lemon Glaze. In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon juice and granulated sugar, then whisk in the confectioners’ sugar until the glaze is smooth.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack by placing the wire rack over the pan and then turning them both over at once. Allow to settle and then carefully lift the pan from the cake. Using a pastry brush, immediately brush the glaze onto the warm cake.  The glaze with set as the cake cools. Allow the cake to cool completely, then transfer the cake to a stand or serving plate.  Any leftover cake may be wrapped and served over the next several days but is best eaten within 3-4 days.

*Note, I reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe since I added the chopped chocolate.

PS: You can find the swirl bundt pan here.


This is my submission for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. Lots of goodies being shared over there!


  1. There you go using my new favorite pan again... what a stunning cake. The pic with the glaze is so tempting! Lovely, really lovely.


  2. Sounds delicious and what a beautiful way to serve it!

  3. Susan, I love the mould you have used. Such a pretty shape. Since I see you so thrilled about it, I will bookmark it and put it in my pile.

  4. A very pretty and healthy moulded cake!

  5. magnifico!!!! una vera delizia!!

    Mi piace moltissimo anche la tua alzatina dove appoggia la torta...qui ho difficoltà a trovarla!!!

    le foto sono formidabili!!!!

    Bravissima!!! ciao!!!

  6. Sounds like a great cake and such a pretty presentation!

  7. This is the best way to eat zucchini and thanks for a new recipe -- I love that you ussed olive oil!

  8. As of late, my dreams have been made of anything that involves dark chocolate. And I'm pretty sure that can be extended to anything that involves zucchini and olive oil as well. Oh my lord does this sound good.

  9. Gorgeous cake, Susan, and knowing you, it probably tastes even better than it looks which is fantastic! Zucchini and cake? hmmmm! Hard to imagine for me, but I'll have to try it one day! So it's a cake that is good for you?

  10. I love zucchini bread, but with the addition of dark chocolate?? OMG yes! This looks so beautiful!!

    Happy weekend :)


  11. This cake sounds wonderful and I have made other cakes using olive oil and love them. This one I MUST try and I really like that cake pan. I know I have seen it at WS. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks like a keeper and anything with lemon in it has to be good.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  12. I love your cake pan! And that cake? I've never seen a zucchini look so appealing! The crunchy lemon glaze sounds yummy too. Thanks!

  13. That cake looks and sounds wonderful!

  14. lemon glaze is one of my fav!

  15. this looks like one seriously good cake!! Glad you added the chocolate just one more reason to love it! And your cake is gorgeous, I love the shape! What a great way to eat your vegetables!!

  16. This cake sounds wonderful ,very original and gorgeous !Brava Susan!
    happy weekend...

  17. Since I have the twin to your cake pan, I must make this Susan. I might have to ask my neighbor for some zucchini :-) She will happily oblige!

  18. I have a zucchini cake recipe that I got from my cousin's Italian aunt 25 years ago. But I don't have a pan that makes it turn out so pretty!

    The lemon glaze make this cake sound especially delicious! Thanks for posting!

  19. I love that pan,! Z is banned in this house, can't even say the word! :)
    Cake looks delicious!
    Still don't believe Carol about the word id? :)

  20. So happy to have found your blog. This recipe drew me in, and I was not disappointed! I am eager to get my hands on some squash now! The pan you used is really beautiful and the glaze tops it off!

  21. Thank you, all, for your wonderful comments about the cake and the pan. You can find it at Williams Sonoma or Amazon dot com. I shared the link in my Heritage Cake post.

    Kathleen, you can't even taste the zucchini at all! Try it!

  22. I love that cake pan, Susan. I am so tempted to get one.

    And that cake! Wow. Do you think it's the olive oil that makes it last so long?
    (clever you to add chocolate!)

  23. It looks beautiful! I like how you added chocolate!

  24. Mmmm this looks good, although I still can't fathom zucchini and chocolate working together. I will have to try it though as this looks great.

  25. This is the time of year I'm thinking about utilizing the remainder of the vegetables and fruits and freezing "delights" for the winter. I'm going to do it with this recipe. I'll wait until the winter winds blow to take it out, glaze it and enjoy!


  26. I am in love with your pan. The cake also looks like a winner, love the lemon glaze on top.

  27. It looks like one seriously amazing cake...and your cake is even prettier than David Lebovitz'

  28. Questo cake è bello da impazzire!!! Bravissima, Susan: anche l'occhio vuole la sua parte! E chissà che buon sapore...

  29. What a delicious masterpiece! Thanks for including the link to the swirl Bundt pan too :)

  30. I admire that wonderful pan every time I go into WS. This version of zucchini cake is totally different than mine and I'm eager to try it. I've never used olive oil so am eager to see how it affects the taste.

  31. The recipe in itself is just lovely, but that pan does make for a stunning presentation!

  32. Your cake looks really delicious! I have to get one of those pans! It makes a cool looking cake! Great job!

  33. a delicious cake and a beautiful blog.
    see you soon.

  34. This is just beautiful and that combination of ingredients sounds just amazing!

  35. I need to take a lesson on how to get cakes to come out of pans as perfectly as you do... great sounding cake... I'm really into cakes with vegetables for body instead of so much butter... the olive oil is a great idea!

  36. What an intriguing cake! I am sure the zucchini made it very moist, but I was wondering if the taste of the olive oil was too present or not? All in all, a cake that I would love to try as we also have a glut of olive oil in the garden!

  37. Joumana, I didn't find the taste of the olive oil overpowering at all. In fact, I barely noticed it.

    Thank you again, everyone, for your comments!

  38. I made this cake from your recipe, and it was fabulous! The lemon glaze definitely added something. I have the same Bundt pan, and it released perfectly. I took it to a writers group meeting, and they complimented me on the "origami" shape of the cake. I didn't have quite enough olive oil, so I substituted about half regular vegetable oil with no problem. I used chopped bittersweet chocolate and pecans. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  39. Thank you so much for letting me know, LinC! Next time I made it I'll try pecans - one of my favorites!


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